The Diary of a Young Girl – Review

Author: Annelies Marie (Anne) Frank
Edited By: Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler
Translated By: Susan Massotty
Publisher: Amazing Reads
Pages: 315

Anne Frank was a Jewish teenage girl from Frankfurt, Germany. She was a happy, cheerful and chatty soul. The Frank family (father Otto Frank, mother Edith Frank and elder sister Margot Frank) moved to Amsterdam when Anne was four. Everything was normal and they were leading a happy life in Holland.

On her thirteenth birthday, Anne received a red and white checked diary along with many other gifts. She named this diary ‘Kitty‘ and started penning down her day to day thoughts in it.

Problems started after May 1940, with the arrival of the Germans and with them came in numerous restrictions on Jews.

During the war, Germans started to send call-ups for deporting Jews to Nazi forced-labor camps in Germany. This forced many Jews to conceal. The Frank family found a hiding place (Secret Annex) in Otto Frank’s office building. Their entire time in hiding was spent in fear. Not in fear of dying. But in fear of getting caught by the Nazis.

In her diary, Anne wrote about how they lived, what they ate and what they talked about as Jews in hiding.

“Terrible things are happening outside. At any time of night and day, poor helpless people are being dragged out of their homes. They’re allowed to take only a knapsack and a little cash with them, and even then, they’re robbed of these possessions on the way. Families are torn apart; men, women and children are separated. Children come home from school to find that their parents have disappeared. Women return from shopping to find their houses sealed, their families gone. The Christians in Holland are also living in fear because their sons are being sent to Germany. Everyone is scared. Every night hundred of planes pass over Holland on their way to German cities, to sow their bombs on German soil.”

The above passage clearly explains the fear and tension in Amsterdam during the second world war.

Anne also expressed her interests and views on politics, religion, mythology, foreign languages, genealogical trees and what not. She was certainly not like any other teenager. She was well read and knowledgeable. She had opinions about things which other teenagers were completely unaware of.

“Paper has more patience than people.”

“Memories mean more to me than dresses.”

“Laugh at everything and forget everybody else.”

“Laziness may look inviting, but only work gives you true satisfaction.”

Lines like these speak largely about her mood, character and personality.

The diary accounts for Anne’s experiences from 12th June 1942 to 1st August 1944. On 4th August 1944, the residents of the Secret Annex were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Later the diary of Anne Frank was published as a book and is still considered as one of the most relevant historical documents of the second world war.

The book has personal experiences of many historical events like persecution of the Jews from Germany and suffering of the Dutch under German occupation. The story of Anne Frank is equally disturbing and inspirational, disturbing because of their struggles as Jews in hiding and inspirational because of their will to fight against all odds. This makes The Diary of a Young Girl one of those books that everyone should read at least once in their lives.

Akash Chaudhuri
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